Friday, December 7, 2012

Event Report: Dickens on the Strand 2012

This weekend was the 39th Annual Dickens on the Strand in Galveston.  Two years ago, in the wake of Hurricane Ike, the Dickens on the Strand organizers reached out to the steampunk community in an effort to draw more attendance and more income for the Galveston Historical Society.

The steampunks responded in force.  Two years later, I swear I saw more people dressed in some form of steampunk costume than plain Victorian costume.  In fact, that was one of the best things about DOTS this year for me: I saw so many people in steampunk costume (and elaborate steampunk at that) that I had NEVER SEEN BEFORE.

Sometimes the Texas steampunk community feels a bit claustrophobic.  At many events, the same few hundred people show up.  But it takes an event of this size to really bring home how many MORE people there are out there who are interested or actually fairly deeply involved in the style of steampunk.  It really should be a lesson to event organizers that attendees are out there, if you can get word to them.  I'm sure it helps that admission is only $7 if you're in costume.

Anyway, Dickens was a total blast this year.  I only attended for the day on Saturday since I didn't want to spend money on a hotel.  But it's really this amazing combination of a craft fair, Christmas festival, and wild street party.  In costume.  It's pretty much endlessly entertaining to just wander the streets with a beverage.  From chatting with friends, to watching bits of street performers, to petting alpacas, and to laughing at drunk people dancing in the streets, there was never a lack of interesting things going on.

There were so many amazing costumes and people that I felt overstimulated by it and had a hard time focusing on individuals.  Or maybe that was the cider, beer, and mead...  I know at least once (and I'm sure several other times) I walked right past friends without seeing them until they came up and grabbed me.  I also had some great conversations with new acquaintances.

I didn't actually make it to any of the scheduled "events" so I can't comment on them.  I missed the daytime parade by minutes and the nighttime parade was a little sad by the time it got to where my friends and I were sitting outside a bar at the very end of the route.  Regardless, I had a great time at this event.

Taken at a friend's house prior to leaving.
You can tell by the lack of sweat.

Plus I got to wear my Victorian bustle dress again, now that I have a new corset to go under it.  And look at my husband being adorably hopeful about the weather letting him wear his long coat.  The temperature ended up exceeding the forecast by about 10 degrees.  You would not have known it was December by the 84 degree weather...

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